Antiretroviral drug resistance is mostly linked to a complex interaction of several amino acids with variable importance or a single amino acid. To facilitate the interpretation of observed mutation patterns, hospital university centers have developed several interpretation systems. All the currently available interpretation algorithms evolved, are being continuously updated and have been improved during the last decade. Some discrepancies are still evident that are partially smoothened by link of the individual programs with other systems. After the interpretation of HIV-1 group M subtype B mutations, a refined algorithm for the other group M subtypes was developed followed by the interpretation of HIV-1 group O and HIV-2 mutations. The process of improvement is ongoing, due to the better understanding and interpretation of single and cluster mutations and the availability of new antiretroviral substances. The knowledge gained from the experience of HIV drug resistance testing has been used to establish the interpretation of HBV polymerase mutations and will be extended for the treatment of HCV infected with protease inhibitors.
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